The Kampot provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has told district authorities and relevant units to instruct slaughterhouses across the province to stop slaughtering animals on Buddhist Uposatha days, or holy days, starting October 29. The aim, it said, is to promote Buddhism which is the state religion.
Uposatha days, known locally as Thngai Soel, are observed about once a week in Theravada Buddhist countries such as Cambodia, corresponding with the four lunar phases – the new and full moons, as well as the two quarter moons in between.
The department instructed relevant units – including the offices of economic and urban development; agriculture; and environment and natural resources – to raise awareness about the issue and to tell slaughterhouse owners to stop killing animals on Uposatha days.
The instruction followed a recommendation from new provincial governor Mao Thonin citing a sub-decree on the management of slaughterhouses. The sub-decree, issued in 2007, bans the slaughtering of animals on Uposatha days.
In a letter addressed to relevant authorities, agriculture department director Chan Rith said the sub-decree had not been fully implemented for many years.
“So, to strengthen the enforcement of the sub-decree ... I request that all town and district governors instruct relevant units to educate slaughterhouse owners and warn them against killing animals on Thngai Soel,” Chan Rith said.
“In case slaughterhouse owners do not follow this instruction, the agriculture department will take action according to legal procedures,” he said.